Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top o' the Minor News

A sampling of today's Minor News headlines:

1) Would-be thieves in small Alaska village steal frozen pizzas, sell them to police

"Police say they received a strong tip when 29-year-old John Koozaata and 21-year-old Lewis Oozeva called the police department and tried to sell the pizzas to on-duty officers."

2) Man driving motorhome leads Alaska State Troopers on a chase

"Eligah Christian of Wasilla was arrested Friday morning, but not before he mashed the bulky vehicle into several patrol cars."

3) They're back! The end of winter also means the arrival of mosquitoes

"[Derik S.] Sikes [curator of insects at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum of the North] recently was asked to estimate the weight of all of the mosquitoes in Alaska, and the numbers are surprising. Based on an estimate of the amount of mosquitoes killed by spiders, Sikes said every year Alaska is home to 17 trillion mosquitoes, weighing in at a whopping 96,191,666 pounds."

I have several questions... First of all, while extrapolating from "an estimate of the amount of mosquitoes killed by spiders" sounds reasonable to me, how is the number of mosquitoes killed by spiders any easier to estimate than the number of mosquitoes at all? Also, 96,191,666 pounds? How good is this estimate, such that we get a whopping 8 significant figures?

Oh, well. Here are the girls is a photo of the girls on the couch:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy erf day!

image source:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Notes from here and there

Naya luuuuurves Starbuckeroo:

Leaders nap in matching positions:

Autumn and DL:

Booger in a sunbeam:

Autumn decides the couch is too warm now:

Roo cleans her fangs:

My first use of California golden raisins from BT; with candied walnuts and fresh cheese over a spinach salad:

Apparently, the vole that we found thrashing around in the kitchen trash can and banished outside last winter had planned to spend the winter in my summer work boots; I found his stash of squash seeds over the weekend.

Sorry, little dude; that looks like a tasty and hard-won stash. I hope you found something else to eat for the rest of winter!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring springing

Last weekend, we walked the trails for probably the last time this season.

We had thought at first that they were still mostly frozen:

But as we proceeded closer to the drainage of the creek, nope:

But the upside of spring is green things! I saw my first one in the forest:

My favorite neighborhood landmark looked lovely in the sun:

I had forgotten how bad that wind storm was in Oct of 2013!

Mr. Fox apparently had a tussle of some sort:

On the way back, it was even warmer:

And the overflow had progressed even farther:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Misceallaneous couch-based photos

The leaders confer over fang cleaning:

Starbuckeroo utilizes her retirement to contemplate the Meaning of It All:

Starbuckeroo gets squozen:

Starbuckeroo in a sunbeam:

"Pet us!"

Obligatory dogs-on-couch shot:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Compare and contrast


Moose calf:

Image courtesy of Kostroma Moose Farm.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Creatures

So not only do we have a behbeh reindeer, we have trumpeter swans, Canada geese, and at least one white-fronted goose, hangin' out with a year-rounder (the raven; ravens used to migrate, but they found it tiring and one day said, "Nevermore!" That was a joke. I sincerely hope some random googler quotes it as fact.):

Photo credit: Eric Engman, News Miner

Chez moi, my reports are this:

1) The trails are juuuuust barely still frozen, so the girls and I can do off-leash runs in the morning.

2) We're juuuuust dropping below freezing at night, and the daytimes are about 40F/5C.

3) The dogs are starting to shed and drop their toehawks.

4) The birch saplings in front of my cabin have buds on them; however, it's probably still another several weeks before we'll have this.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Winter always fights back

Temperatures have dropped to below freezing again for the last day or so. Very nice for refreezing the trails! Also, for the dogs' spirits! They looooove cold and bounce around like puppies in it. When I first got Autumn, she was 8 and I had no idea whether that was "over the hill" or how long she would live. Every summer, I thought, "Oh no she looks bad. This is it, isn't it?" But every winter she'd come back. :)

The snow is now to thin and icy to ski on, but we've been doing our morning runs on the trails. Compared against Starbuck, Autumn is really slowing down, but she still covers the miles with a smile on her face! Linden hasn't even slowed down and still runs at a full gallop.

A light snow yesterday afternoon made all of our neighbors' activities visible--apparently, Ernie the Ermine is back:

(that is a penny)

(those are my size 7 tracks)

Also, there are dozens and dozens of rabbit tracks, right alongside those of Mr. Fox:

The intrigues that must occur right outside our cabin while we are fast asleep!

In other news, this weekend is Mush for Kids, a family outdoor event sponsored by the Alaska Children's Trust. I've never been, since I'd rather swim unprotected in a tank of sharks than willingly spend time with large crowds of children. But I do recall that our adoption of Starbuck was delayed last year due to her having to work at Mush for Kids. Starbuck loooooooves attention, so it was probably just as well for her to get loved on by a crowd of strangers one last time.

This year, she will be hiking with us and napping on the couch instead of entertaining children: